( ENSPIRE She Did That ) All About Williams’ Book Recounting How She Overcame Lung Cancer
ENSPIRE Contributor: Gabel Strickland
In 2000, Tashell Williams had one of her lungs removed. The recovery process was long and challenging and involved multiple operations. And yet, Williams made it through. Now, she’s written a book about her experiences, “One Lung To Live,” that aims to provide advice and hope to people navigating similarly challenging stages in their lives. As her book reveals, you can do more than live with only one lung–you can thrive, too.
Williams was suffering from a granular cell tumor blocking the airway of her right lung. The oxygen deprivation permanently destroyed her lung, so it was removed in 2000. The diagnosis snapped her out of her busy life as a mother, student, and socialite. She was faced with a taxing physical recovery process that would last for a year.
“It took me about a year to recover. I nearly died from complications after having my lung removed so the recovery process was long, grueling, and challenging. I needed help and assistance with everything which was a very humbling experience,” Williams said. “I had to regain strength to do everything for myself including walking, sitting, etc, which took time and patience.”
The impact of the operation was more than just physical–it was mental, too. Williams often felt fearful and isolated… and a flurry of other emotions, too.
“Emotionally, I was all over the place. I had never been through anything so hard in my life. I was sad most days because I felt alone and that no one could relate to me,” Williams said. “The removal of my lung and its complications gave me extreme anxiety and fear. I had come so close to death that sometimes the thought of what I had been through took me back to the place of thinking that I was going to die.”
Now having recovered, Williams focuses on health in her everyday life. She attends her annual check-ups and follows a daily wellness routine. Williams currently works as a hairstylist. In her studio, she uses toxin-free, vegan, and organic products to keep herself and her customers healthy.
“Due to me losing my lung, my health is a high priority. To protect my lung, I live and work in an environment that is free of toxic ingredients which can cause illness,” Williams said. “I provide beauty solutions that will help people stay well and hopefully not have to experience what I went through.”
Health consciousness isn’t the only thing Williams has taken away from her experience. Williams says her ordeal taught her an even more important lesson, one she lives by going forward – life is precious, short, and unpredictable. One could lose their life or its circumstances at any given moment, so one has to make the most of it while they have it. While Williams’ experience was one full of fear and trial, this realization helped her emerge from it with a feeling of gratitude and motivation.
“This experience has taught me that life is literally so short, so make the best of my time here and don’t take anything for granted,” Williams said. “I am more serious about life and how I live it. Time is limited so I am very intentional about creating the life that brings God glory, and gives me peace, love, joy, and fulfillment.”
That is what inspired her to write One Lung To Live. Williams self-published the book in February 2022, and it can now be found on Amazon and her website. The book recounts her whole journey for the reader. To hear her describe the arc of the book in her own words:
“I lost my lung due to a rare tumor. I had many critical moments, however, I survived. During my recovery, I went through mental, emotional, and physical challenges, but this experience revealed my purpose of living and revealed God’s healing power. I share life lessons learned from that tragedy that I feel will help others get through adversity, become the best version of themselves and help them intentionally thrive in life!”
Williams hopes that her book provides solace and advice to readers going through similarly difficult experiences in their lives. The book provides others with the opportunity to follow her journey as they navigate their own, feeling the solace and community she lacked during her own ordeal. Williams says that if she could say anything to those readers, it would be this:
“Know that what you are going through is for a reason. You will be stronger after you go through it. Ask God to help you along the way and trust him to fulfill his promises. Don’t give up! Keep going! Always think positive thoughts and have a big heart of gratitude! Be consistent even in the small things because it eventually accomplishes goals.”
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